We have chosen to put a spotlight on women’s health in Africa as we believe more needs to be done to advance women’s health on the continent.
Women in Africa are the pillars of their families and communities. They serve as the lifegivers, mothers, peacemakers, entrepreneurs, and the providers of care for children and the elderly. However, they bear a disproportionately large share of the global disease burden and death.
Women in the African region face a daunting range of threats to their health throughout their lives: respiratory infections, perinatal conditions, diarrhoeal diseases, malaria childhood-cluster diseases, nutritional deficiencies, meningitis, HIV/AIDS, other STDs, maternal conditions, cardiovascular diseases, malignant neoplasms, tropical-cluster diseases, neuropsychiatric conditions, genitourinary diseases, diabetes mellitus, endocrine disorders and more.
It is therefore crucial that we protect and promote the health of women on the continent – with a focus on quality, affordability, and equity – for the wellbeing and development of both current and future generations. Additionally, significant socioeconomic benefits can be derived from improving women’s healthcare in Africa. Representing over 50% of a continent’s human resources, women’s health in Africa also has major implications on the overall development of Africa.
Women in Africa are more likely to die from communicable diseases (e.g. HIV, tuberculosis and malaria), maternal and perinatal conditions, and nutritional deficiencies, than women in other regions of the world.
Public Private Partnerships Are Key
To focus on the advancement of women’s health indicators in Africa, governments must prioritise women’s health. The public sector has the legal mandate to provide stewardship, guidance, and coordination, to create an enabling environment for the implementation of health systems strengthening activities that are focused on women’s health.

Nevertheless, there is a significant role to play for the private sector as a multisectoral approach is imperative to improve women’s health. Public-private dialogue can strengthen policymaking and create momentum for reform. Organisations in the private sector have the capacity for efficiency and sustainability which can be harnessed to meet important social objectives.